New NHS England regulations mean people living with HIV will no longer have to disclose their status to get access to Covid-19 vaccinations. According to i News, campaigners were fearful that many HIV positive people would miss out on the vaccine if they had to discuss their status with their GP. However, HIV clinics will now be able to refer patients for the vaccine without notifying their GP.
Those living with HIV will be contacted shortly and asked whether they are comfortable sharing their status with their GP, or if they would prefer to access the vaccine through an alternative route. Dr Michael Brady, NHS England’s national advisor for LGBTQ+ health, said he encourages everyone who is HIV positive to get the “life-saving vaccine”, whether that be via a GP or through a local HIV clinic.
Ian Green, chief executive of the Terrence Higgins Trust, praised the NHS for it’s new regulations, saying: “This is great news and the right decision from the NHS as it means people living with HIV will be able to take up the potentially life-saving Covid-19 vaccine at their earliest opportunity – even if they feel unable to share their HIV status with this doctor.”
Darren Knight, chief executive at HIV support organisation, the George House Trust, agreed, saying: “Through providing Covid vaccinations via HIV clinics, it means that no one living with HIV will miss out on the opportunity to play their part in the battle against Covid and stay well. We’ve still got work to do to build confidence in people sharing their HIV status, providing vaccinations via HIV clinics is the best thing we can do right now and this is such welcome and positive news.”
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